Transport for London is increasing its efforts to make sure passengers are abiding by coronavirus restrictions for everyone’s safety at London’s busiest bus stops.
Over the last seven months 128,000 people have been stopped from boarding a London bus, the Tube, a train or a tram until they have put on a face mask and TfL‘s enforcement officers have handed out 1,700 fines.
Around 10 per cent of passengers have not been complying with the rules at the busiest times of the day and TfL has been working with the Met Police and British Transport Police to patrol known hotspots.
As a result these bus stop are now being targeted for patrols and an operation also took place around Walthamstow bus station on Tuesday morning, January 19 due to concerns about masks not being worn.
Siwan Hayward, TfL Director of Compliance, Policing Operations and Security, said: “There really is no excuse for not wearing [a mask] properly for your entire journey when travelling on our network.
“London is at a critical point in this pandemic and this is no time to be complacent with the measures we take to protect ourselves and others.”
There are now 500 TfL enforcement officers who make sure passengers are following coronavirus safety regulations, as well as tackling aggressive behaviour and fare evasion.
Over the last seven months 9,300 people have been prevented from boarding a service because they didn’t have a face mask on and 2,100 have been ejected from services.
Superintendent Gary Taylor, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “We are almost a year into living with this virus and by now everyone should know how to protect themselves and those around them.
“Wearing a face covering on public transport is just one of the ways to stay safe.”
Roughly 650 people have been prosecuted for not wearing a mask on the network.
Fines have been as much as £660 for those convicted for a first offence, with one repeat offender having to pay £1,170.
TfL’s latest customer survey found 75 per cent are supportive of face covering enforcement, rising to 86 per cent among those aged 65 and over.